BY Parvati

Merry Christmas and happy solstice! May this holiday season be full of beautiful things for you.
Though I was raised in a Christian home, worked as a lay-assistant minister,and go to church from time to time and on most high holidays, I love the rich light imagery that many spiritual traditions offer in the dark mid-winter. With Nature being at its most introverted point of the year, we can also experience an important energetic shift when we tune in and listen. In each moment, we are offered ways to remember our interconnection as eternal beings of light.
I continue to explore the joy of this soulful, light-filled theme in my music, especially as I prepare for the launch of my radio single and music video “I Am Light”. I have been working on securing radio play for it and getting the necessary accompanying tour in place once it is on air. Happily, the song has already captured the hearts and imagination of industry moguls. A few exciting opportunities are on the table. As such, I am back in the studio creating yet more luminous sounds for you! I am building the single into an “I Am Light” EP, featuring extended and radio mixes as well as an acoustic version. It will be released in 2016.
On a similar bright note, round two of the #catchthelight contest begins! I look forward to seeing YOUR photos and videos of light as you move through your daily life in the holiday season and start your new year. Make sure you share them on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook. Tag your posts with #catchthelight and #iamlight between now and January 30 to enter the draw for a free one on one sound healing class or intuitive session, and other special prizes to be announced soon! Again, if you also tag #parvati and #positivepossibilitieslady, your entries will count double!
During this mid-winter period, those of the Jewish faith have just finished celebrating the miracle of light through the eight days of Hanukkah, a festival also known as The Festival of Lights. Hanukkah commemorates the Maccabean Revolt and reclaiming of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, which under the rule of Roman Emperor Antiochus IV (2nd century BCE), Jews were forbidden to attend. When the victorious Maccabees found a small jug of uncontaminated oil in the temple, only enough to light the Menorah for one day, the oil miraculously lasted for eight days, by which time more oil could be made. Hanukkah reminds us that light comes when we turn our hearts towards the Divine and enter the world of the sacred, the temple of worship. I have the wonderful privilege to be now married to a beautiful Jewish man. It is a joy to light the menorah together every year!
The Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere marks the longest night and shortest day of the year, when the sun’s peak in the sky is at an all time low. Having always felt an innate interconnection with nature, I find it very soulful and rejuvenating to honour the solstice and equinox times as mindfully as possible. Each year, I do a little research and find out when exactly the peak moment takes place. This year, Winter Solstice occurs on December 21 at 11:48 p.m., Eastern Standard time, or December 22, 04:48 UT. Fifteen minutes before that time, I turn inward and become aware of what is about to take place in nature and allow myself to feel a part of the shift taking place.
If this is something that inspires you, you may know that at the fall Equinox, nature is infused with vitality, as it is the beginning of a new life cycle. The Winter Solstice reflects the second stage of that cycle, that includes planning and designing the year ahead. The Spring Equinox highlights the energy of physical preparedness required for nature to come into fruition. At the Summer Solstice, the year’s plans and designs are at their peak and starts to move through into their final stage.
I smiled inside when I found out years ago, while working at the church, that the timing of Solstice and Christmas is no coincidence. December 25th was historically marked by Julius Caesar (around 50 BCE) as the date for the annual winter solstice celebrations in Rome. A few hundred years later, early Christians (around 350 CE) joined in this time to practice their own celebration of newfound light, this time as embodied by the birth of the Christ child, the one said to be the Light of the world.
For some, this time of year is all about reindeer and the delight of a jolly Santa. Others may think of Santa Claus as merely a commercial mascot for copious shopping, or a secular intrusion into a spiritual holiday. Yet, the historic origin to this big-bellied giver is actually quite inspiring and luminous. Santa evolved from Saint Nicholas, a medieval bishop known for helping the needy. Familiar Christmas traditions like stockings, and gold ball ornaments, have their origins in stories of Saint Nicholas. In Eastern Christian traditions, this saint is still revered as a source of miracles. He inspires the power of kindness and giving that echoes within today’s stories of Santa Claus. I believe that the spirit of Santa Claus or Saint Nicholas lives in all of us as we choose to be loving to one another.
When we move beyond Christmas folklore and settle into the spiritual meanings it brings, we notice that the light of the Divine, as symbolized in the baby Jesus, was born in a manger in and among the unassuming shepherds and animals. This reminds us that the Divine is born through the innocence of a child, in purity and humility as one among us. It points to the foundation for spiritual practice: humility and the willingness to meet this moment exactly as it is. No big stories. No large fanfare. Just what is.
We are here, on this planet, amidst the beauty and imperfections of it all. We each carry inner light that can shine and cast shadows on the ground. As the little child who was born in a manger shows us, when we humbly surrender to the immensity of this human experience, we see that we are one with it all: the animals, the shepherds, the wise, the angels, the earth, and the stars. When we are willing to live with the innocence of a child and open to our purity with sincerity in our being, we enter the realm of the Divine. The Christmas story tells us that through the gateway of innocence, purity and humility we find the Divine.
Whatever your spiritual tradition, or even if you have no tradition at all, when you are willing to open to this moment with innocence, purity and humility, you enter into your inner temple and reclaim the miracle of lasting light, your birthright. Then you experience the fullness of light in every moment, and everyday, through all things.
This week, I invite you to align with the light and energy of this special time within the earth’s rhythm. Take a few moments on Monday to integrate the energetic shift of the winter solstice. Consider the birth of light in your life. Consider cultivating innocence, experiencing things with openness and freshness rather than with anticipation, expectation and pre-judged ideas. Consider softening to life, rather than hardening to it. Consider being receptive, as a child is receptive to the newness and wonder of life. Consider the interconnections between yourself and all things, the way we are all in the mess of it all and guided by the shining light in the heavens, a light that reflects our inner light. This holiday season, find the light within yourself and through all things and light up the world.
May you enjoy this holiday season. Happy illuminating!